If you asked someone to give you Dota 2 tips for playing in the middle lane, what do you think they’d most likely tell you? Ask for two pieces of Tango and an Observer Ward? Flame your teammates every time you get ganked and deflect every time your matchup gets a chance to gank other lanes because you failed to report him missing for the nth time?
You will be finding none of that here.
In an effort to try and curb the toxicity in Dota 2, starting with arguably the most mechanically intensive role in the game, we rounded up a couple of Dota 2 tips for beginners aimed at helping make their first few dozen times playing in the middle lane easier.
So, without further ado, let’s get started.
If you are a Dota Plus subscriber or you have a TI9 battle pass, queuing mid will likely take you more than a couple of minutes.
While searching for a match, you might want to make good use of your time and launch Dota 2’s “Last Hit Trainer”.
Of course, this is assuming that you already know your way around Dota 2, because if not, then I recommend going to the “Learn” tab on the in-game client and hovering your way to the “Tutorials” section. But, if you are familiar with Dota 2 already, you can go to “Training” instead and play around with the “Last Hit Trainer”.
The purpose of the training is pretty self-explanatory.
Remember, the middle lane is all about asserting your mechanical superiority over your opponent, and that starts with your ability to last hit.
In lower ranks in Dota 2, you can easily get by and win matches simply by winning the middle lane and affecting the other lanes of your map — either by forcing other players to rotate to your farmed hero or by rotating to other lanes and helping your teammates out. Of course, this does still happen in higher ranks, but it is less likely and there’s far more involved than just mechanically out-playing your opponent once you get to higher levels of play.
Do use your ban
Use your ban. It’s there for a reason. If not for yourself, then use it for your teammates. But, really, you want to use it for yourself.
There are countless reasons why you should ban another hero.
For starters, it could be a direct counter to your hero. God knows just how toxic it is to deal with a Viper when you’re playing a Templar Assassin. Also, another good reason to ban a specific hero is if you feel like you’re playing against a smurf — smurfs are players who are playing in lower brackets, either because they’re paid to do it or because they think it’s fun to mess around with lower-skilled players — because banning common smurf heroes such as Morphling, Meepo, and Broodmother, among others, is a great way to minimize the risk of you just being run over by someone a lot more skilled than you in the lane.
Pick according to your skill and familiarity
It should go without saying that you should never go for an unfamiliar pick.
Sure, it’s quite tempting to go for a hard counter, or go for a flashy hero like Invoker, but try not to do it if you’re not that confident enough in your skills, especially in ranked games.
Remember, there are no hard counters in Dota 2. This means that, even if your hero matches up relatively well against the opposing team’s mid laner, the advantage usually isn’t big enough to guarantee yourself a won lane, especially if you don’t know how to play the hero properly.
So, if you’re going mid, the best thing to do is to go with an appropriate hero that you’re comfortable playing.
Have a solid plan for your game
Before anything else, try to calm yourself down.
Many Dota 2 tips forget the fact that playing in the middle lane can put a lot of pressure on players, especially beginners. Sure, most would tell you NOT to play mid if you’re not used to it, but, better now than never, right?
In any case, once you have chosen your hero, you should carefully plan for how you’re going to go about your game.
Be as optimistic and pessimistic as possible. This way, you’re prepared for when everything goes your way, and when everything doesn’t.
For example, if you have the range and wave-clear advantage, push the lane and keep your opponent’s health as low as possible. If you have kill potential, don’t be afraid to trade. But, if you find yourself at a serious disadvantage, try not to push the issue. Instead, focus on getting as much gold and exp as you can without putting yourself in unnecessary risk of dying.
The more planned out your entire game is, the less time you’ll spend thinking of what to do next.
Pay attention to your mini-map
There are a lot of reasons why you should try to keep an eye on your mini-map every few seconds.
First, this is to help make sure that you’re not caught unaware of any possible ganks from other lanes. Second, it’s easier to be aware if one of your teammates are close enough to set up a gank on mid if you know where they are. Lastly, the general goal of the mid laner in Dota 2 is to create space, which means that you and your opponent should be looking at every opportunity to gank other lanes and secure a kill.
As soon as your opponent goes missing, spam ping and report.
Even if it’s a false alarm, it helps keep your teammates on your toes.
Communication is minimal at lower ranks, but pings and reporting missing heroes can still go a long way.
Don’t forget to look for opportunities to roam
Roaming helps you and your team out significantly.
If you’re ahead, it helps you snowball your hero even further while also helping secure the other lanes for your team. But, if you’re behind, it can help give you the necessary gold and exp to try and catch up if not get ahead.
As a general rule of thumb, you should be the one doing the roaming and not the other way around.
While it’s not unusual for professional Dota 2 teams to rotate their supports mid to help secure a kill or to harass the opposing mid laner out of the lane, the lack of coordination in lower rank means that your team is more likely to give up kills or farm whenever someone else has to rotate and help you out in your lane.
A lost lane is not a lost game
So, you’ve lost your first few waves, and you’re getting outplayed hard. You might have even died once or twice already.
What do you do now?
Well, for starters, don’t quit and don’t let it get to you. Losing your confidence won’t do you any good. So is getting into a flame war by responding to your teammates who most likely have already typed something along the lines of “gg mid”, as if the game was already lost just because you lost the lane.
Besides, it’s not like you’ve already lost the lane already. Technically, you just lost the first few minutes.
You can still salvage it by minimizing the collateral damage of your lost lane and farming up the jungle in between. The former should be your focus, however. You’ll want it so that the opponent’s focus is on you and not on the other lanes.
On way of doing this is asking That means keeping your opponent’s focus on to you and not on the other lanes. But, how do you do that? There are many ways. But, of all of them, you’ll need to ask for help from your supports to set up vision around the middle lane.
This way, if the opposing mid tries to gank the other lanes, you can report missing and your teammates can see which lane the opposing mid is likely to go next.
Even if this doesn’t guarantee that their gank attempt will fail, it does buy you some time to farm up a creep wave or two.
Always be confident in yourself
Many Dota 2 tips focus so much on micromanaging you and telling you what to do when, in fact, you probably know what you should do already — you just have no practice yet, or you might have just lost your confidence.
You can address both of these things quite easily.
If you lack practice, then use Dota 2’s “Last Hit Trainer” as mentioned earlier and try to secure every possible CS. Not only does doing this in between games help keep your reflexes sharp, but it also allows you to practice the different adjustments you’ll have to make as you try to last hit using different heroes.
If your confidence is a problem, then try to not let every loss get you down.
Remember, it’s just one game. You can always improve. You should never be afraid to try and fail. Both trying and failing are crucial parts of the learning process.
One thing that other Dota 2 tips fail to mention is that, you should always trust yourself to try and win the lane, or at least, survive it.
As already mentioned earlier, you shouldn’t be the one calling for ganks. The reason for this is that, your job as the mid laner is to create space and gank for the rest of the team. You shouldn’t be the one your teammates should be making space for.
By playing out of your role and asking for ganks, you’re forcing your teammates to adjust to you, and this often leads to fail ganks. Even if the gank does succeed, you’re still taking away from your other lanes, and they can, in turn, be put at risk because you couldn’t do your job right.
Remember, if you find yourself constantly needing baby-sitting in the lane, then it’s a sign that you have a lot of improvement to do first before you can start holding your own in the middle lane.
What kind of other Dota 2 tips do you have for those who are new to the middle lane? Do you agree with the Dota 2 tips for beginners we gave? Which of our Dota 2 tips for beginner middle lane players do you not agree with? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments down below.